Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Showing their true colors........

The S.O. and Dr. David Chu sure are showing theirs.

S.O. is watching Home Finders on HGTV about all these people with bucks who buy and remake houses. Like she needs to be watching that and getting ideas. Bad ideas.......

Then there is Mr Chu:

Oh Chu is such a stingy man,
The tighest man since time began.
Oh he's so tight so tight I say,
He wouldn't give a bride away.

It hurts him so to pay one cent,
He wouldn't pay a compliment.
He makes bases use lightning bugs at night,
to save the cash they'd pay for light!

Dr Chu has indicated that he supports the DACMC's (Defense Advisory Committee on Military Compensation ) recommendations which he intends to turn over to the 10th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation (QRMC). Chu has said he plans to send Congress at least one of the DACMC's recommendations separately extending the pay table to 40 years of service. Surprise, surprise, this has not yet been done.

Some of the other recommendations of the committee were:
- eliminating the immediate annuity upon retirement and delaying payment until age 60,
-providing additional retired pay credit (and basic pay increases) through 40 years of service,
-initiating government contributions to a Thrift Savings Plan or 401(k)-like plan of 5 percent to 10 percent of basic pay, vesting of members between 5 years and 10 years of service,
-creating a gate pay system to provide lump-sum payment incentives at specific points of service,
-vesting in the retirement health care benefit at completion of 20
years of service, and
-raising single housing allowances to the with dependents rates.

The key recommendation is the elimination of the 20 year retirement, without any mention of any way to make a military career a viable option for most serving military people till 40 years. What the good Mr Chu and his cohorts really want is for people to leave when they are used up as far as the military is concerned, but not get any money to offset the lost opportunities in other careers while they went to garden spots like Iraq and the Afghanistan over and over over again. After all "people are expensive".
And when his hearse goes rolling by,
No Soldier or Sailor is gonna cry,
But you can bet his ghost will curse,
because DOD is paying for the hearse.
After all Dr Chu s quoted as saying that young military people don't value a 20 year retirement, "all they want is a pickup truck". Maybe, but as they get the experience you value, Dr Chu, that retirement becomes pretty important pretty quick. Perhaps instead of butt sharking Duncan Hunter to screw veterans, you should get out and talk to those pickup driving, money saving young people. You would be surprised how much they know about money.

Like it or not the military is a young MAN's game. Its just the way it is. I learned that near the end when doing each PRT was an ordeal and I hated it with a passion. Plus DOD has shown no inclination to increastrengthstrengh so those old timers sticking around will simply make advancement opportunity even worse. Or perhaps not since the next shoe to drop after removing 20 year retirement will be forced exits and RIF's just like the USAF us doing this year ( and the Navy......). Just like corporate America. The only guys who will stay for 40 years will be the sycophants.....

The other tenant of the pay plan will be not paying people of the same paygrade the same money. Now that exists today through flawed programs like AIP and some of the bonus programs, but folks have some opportunity to choose their path. What the pay raise plan they propose ignores is that in death there is total equality and IBM and other companies don't have the right to ask you to die for the corporation. That one reality alone demands semi-equality among pay grades and points up why the current system of pay raises is a good one. Want to get rid of the dead wood? Make High Year tenure limits strict, increase advancement opportunity and have selective early retirement looks for senior pay grades after selection boards.

Or better yet, why not look at something like the British do. At the 18 year point all would have to apply for a transition to the career force. Get selected, you get to stay till 55 and retire with your full pay. Get told no and in less than 2 years, you are on Her Majesty's unemployment line ( with a pension of sorts....). Only about 20% of officers make that cut, and for those that don't well at least they are young enough to viably re-enter the job market with skills employers and society need. The US Navy could do a similar thing at the 18 year point, by which in most cases the tenor of you career is set any way, you are either one of the beautiful people or you are not. The percentage could vary based on end strength and there could be some room for negotiation for folks who agree to "take one for the team" by taking a raw deal. Non-selects would have 2 years to transition and then move on at 20. Selects would have to agree to serve overseas and other places and would, in all probability, end up as "professional" staff officers on a variety of staffs they way so many Brits I've met have done. ( And who out class their American counterparts in professionalism and military expertise....).

But then again, that might actually require Dr Chu to actually care about what happens to all those new veterans. He's already proven his inability to do that.

And when its time for him to go,
His soul will travel down below.
And when he gets there you can tell,
Because you'll hear old Satan yell,

"How can anybody be so stingy, so stingy. How can anybody be so stingy. He's the stingiest man in town!"

(Paraphrased from the musical of the same name.......Skippy-san)


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